Trump touted the coronavirus-stricken economy in a freewheeling 40-minute Fox News interview riddled with misleading claims

trump coronavirus

  • Trump had a freewheeling interview with Fox News anchor Sean Hannity where he touted the economy and made misleading claims on the coronavirus outbreak that contradicted public health experts.
  • "I think we're just doing very well," Trump said.
  • The president later suggested it was okay for people infected with the virus to head to work, despite the CDC urging those who are sick to stay home.
  • Visit Business Insider's homepage for more stories.

President Trump embarked upon a freewheeling 40-minute Fox News interview on Wednesday night, saying the American economy was in "great shape" amid the novel coronavirus outbreak. He later made claims that contradicted public health experts.

In a phone interview with Fox News anchor Sean Hannity, the president expressed confidence in the ability of the economy to ride out a public health emergency that has led economists to diminish growth forecasts.Advertisement

"I think we're just doing very well," Trump said, and went on to boast about his ability to stimulate domestic production in the US.

Trump later said the US economy was on solid footing and compared it to slowing ones overseas.

"Numbers are coming out very well. The consumer in the United States is unbelievably strong, stronger than ever before, I believe," Trump said. "That's why we're doing so well and other countries are not doing well," referring to European countries and China.

The president also made claims without evidence on the program that contradicted the federal government's top health experts and the World Health Organization.

He contended that the 3.4% coronavirus death rate that the WHO had put out was "false" and said he had a "hunch" it was lower than 1%. Read more: 'What if this is the thing that brings it down?': A Wall Street investment chief explains how the stock market's coronavirus-induced selloff could push the US into recessionAdvertisement

Then Trump suggested its fine for people infected with COVID-19 - the respiratory illness caused by the virus - to go to work, despite the recommendation from the Centers for Disease and Control urging people to stay home if they're ill.

As of Thursday, the coronavirus has infected more than 95,000 people in at least 81 countries beyond China, its point of origin. The death toll has surpassed 3,300 people, mostly in China. In the US, there are more than 150 reported coronavirus cases and 11 people have died.

The Trump administration has sought to minimize the risks from the coronavirus, the Washington Post reported. Its led to an effort marred by contradictions and falsehoods that critics say could worsen the coronavirus outbreak.Advertisement

The House of Representatives overwhelmingly voted to pass an $8 billion emergency spending package on Wednesday, which included substantial funding for the development of a vaccine, public health programs, and medical supplies.

It's expected to gain Senate approval and head to Trump's desk for his signature. He said last week at a press conference he would "spend whatever is appropriate" to contain the outbreak.